Designers of one of the world's most popular video games have turned their attention to Hong Kong -- and the world of crime so loved by the city's filmmakers.

(Relaxnews) -

Designers of one of the world's most popular video games have turned their attention to Hong Kong - and the world of crime so loved by the city's filmmakers.

When it is released this autumn, the latest edition of True Crime (www.truecrime.com) will be set in this southern Chinese city and will follow the exploits of a morally challenged cop as he works both sides of the law.

The wildly successful video game has in the past taken players through the mean streets of Los Angeles and New York. The LA version of the game alone sold more than 300,000 units in its first two weeks of release in 2003 and ended up selling more than two million.

And, like American director Martin Scorsese before them - with his Oscar-winning film The Departed - the people at the Vancouver, Canada-based United Front Games (UFG) have found inspiration for the project in Hong Kong's multi-award winning film Infernal Affairs.

"First, we wanted to tell a police story, and as fans of Hong Kong cinema, knew the city was a perfect location for an action-packed undercover saga,'' said Stephen Vvn der Mescht, executive producer at United Front Games.

"There are so many quality references we drew from - one of the biggest, and probably the one that most Western audiences would know, is Infernal Affairs, on which The Departed is based.''

Working alongside Activision Publishing, the originators of the True Crimes series, UFG have spent the past two years fine-tuning the new game.

"We felt Hong Kong was the perfect city for an open-world game because it has a strong visual identity and enough architectural range to provide new and exciting game-play opportunities,'' said van der Mescht.

UFG will no doubt be hoping the Hong Kong version of True Crime will find its way on to the lucrative mainland video and online gaming market - but it remains to be seen whether or not it passes through the censors.

According to the Shanghai-based data research firm iResearch, there are between 60 to 70 million gamers in China, which accounts for around one-fifth of all internet users. The mainland online gaming industry alone is meanwhile worth around 27 billion yuan (2.7 billion euros) a year.

MS

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